I’ve been thinking a lot lately about albums I used to own but don’t own anymore. I really have no clue what happened to most of them and their absence means I never really think about them so it’s actually quite difficult to recall what I did and didn’t have. Every now and again a memory will pop up for any number of reasons, not least of which are a couple of Facebook groups where people post pictures of the records they are currently playing and I’ll be scrolling disinterestedly past and suddenly see something and the realisation will come that I bloody well used to have that.
Exactly this happened last week when I was scrolling, scrolling. scrolling and suddenly stopped on this album cover:
I bloody well had this! I remember having it, though where the hell I got it from I don’t know, then I remember not having it, so where the hell it went I don’t know either. What I do know is that I loved it at the time, so I was probably > 13 but < 16, a very specific time frame within the teen years. Looking back at it now I can appreciate that if you took away the makeup and the costumes, the pyrotechnics etc. then it would be an entirely different proposition than what it was, because in that teen age bracket, it was bloody brilliant, it really was. KISS came along at just the right time with the advent of Stadium Rock where radio stations and promoters were looking for bands to fill large venues. The make-up and the personae were bang on for the early to mid seventies with glam rock breaking around the same time. The music itself, bog ordinary Rock ‘N’ Roll packed full of sexual innuendo, again, bang on for the teen time frame. I loved it.
I don’t know if anybody else remembers how special the discovery of new music was back before the internet when it was all word of mouth or from Sounds, NME or Melody Maker, but it had a different feel about it, as though by discovering it entirely for yourself pretty much with very little to go on it made it’s discovery more special and, odd though it may sound, there was a sort of glow about it, but it was an audio glow. It’s very difficult to describe but this is what happened when I played this album. There were only ever the smallest snippets of information about the band and they would never be on the TV or radio, at least not in the UK, so it was like being part of a secret club in some ways.
I make no apology for liking KISS, or at least early KISS (Unmasked was the latest album I’ve owned and that was 1980, which means I was 13 and I had Alive II first, so maybe I was 11 or 12 when I got it) because, even though to many it is tasteless shite, it was a part of what shaped my tastes and helped me on the path to enjoying, to different degrees, almost everything!
I mean, be honest, if you were a teenage boy you’d lap this shit up wouldn’t you?
Oh, and yes, I bought a replacement copy. Shut up.